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The 30-minute Op That Can Save Diabetes Patients From Losing A Leg - So Why Aren't More Patients Being Offered This?

The 30-minute op that can save diabetes patients from losing a leg - so why aren't more patients being offered this?

The 30-minute op that can save diabetes patients from losing a leg - so why aren't more patients being offered this?

Last year, Graham Baker was facing the prospect of losing his left leg below the knee, a complication of his type 2 diabetes.
Poorly controlled blood sugar levels had encouraged the arteries in his left calf to fur up, and this was obstructing the blood flow so much that the tissues and bones in his lower leg were being starved of blood and oxygen.
‘I had a scan to monitor the blood flow in my left leg and was told that without surgical intervention, I would likely lose the lower part of my leg — my years of poor diabetes management had basically blocked up the main artery,’ says 52-year-old Graham, a carer from High Wycombe, Bucks.
But specialists said they could save the leg — and it could be done under local anaesthetic in less than an hour.
It involved a newly refined procedure that clears the artery of blockages. Graham — who is married to Beryl, 53 — had the procedure, called endovascular revascularisation, at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford last September and his leg was saved.
There are many people in the same position who could also benefit from the procedure, but don’t.
In fact, new figures reveal that one person a day needlessly loses their foot or leg because this simple procedure isn’t more widely available.
Blockages in the blood vessels in the legs (known as peripheral arterial disease) is common, but people with diabetes are particularly prone. This is because nitric oxide, a gas we all produce that helps keep blood vessels healthy, becomes less effective in the presence of repeatedly high blood sugar — as can occur in diabetes.
As a Continue reading

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Are "bad diabetes days" affecting your relationships?


Let me start by defining bad diabetes day as one in which your sugar levels are out of control. I think it is safe to say that most of us have experienced at least one day in which, no matter how much of a good diabetic we try to be, our numbers just dont seem to cooperate. Let me clarify by saying that I dont think there is a right or wrong way to be a diabetic person and/or live a diabetic life. We embrace our circumstances in various ways. By being a good diabetic I am referring to the usual misconception many people seem to have about what being a good diabetic means.
Namely, one who counts carbs, exercises, and takes their insulin whenever he/she is supposed to. Yes, all that is helpful, but it is not enough. I am referring, here, to the misleading mindset of you can control what you eat, so you can control your numbers. Counting carbs and taking insulin is not enough to control the numbers. That is not all it takes. Honestly, sometimes I feel theres no real way to actually have full control of them. It is not as easy as some people think it is. Our numbers are not dependent merely on what we eat. Some days, no matter how hard we try, the world will just push us the other way. To feel desperate and helpless during these days is understandable, and it is fine to feel that way sometimes. What is not fine is to hide why we feel how we feel.
I say to hide why we feel how we feel, instead of merely hiding how we feel because sometimes it is almost impossible to hide the how, especially when our sugar levels are out of control. For a lot of us when this happens, that how Continue reading

Boy’s illness motivates family to fight diabetes

Boy’s illness motivates family to fight diabetes

It was Christmas 2009 and the Schapler family – Peggy, Rick, Tylee and Davis – was in full-blown holiday mode.
The tree was up, the presents were wrapped, the house was decked and the family was ready for a trip to the Polar Express. Davis, then 2 years old, had a cold, so Peggy decided to take him to the pediatrician prior to the trip.
The doctor’s visit was also an opportunity for Peggy to discuss other health concerns she had noticed in Davis in recent weeks.
Davis was showing signs of increased urination, irritability and excessive thirst; all of which are signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Davis’ doctor tested his blood sugar three different times with the meter reading HI, which meant his blood sugar was well over 500; the average range is between 80-120.
The doctor immediately sent the family to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It was at that moment, the journey to turn T1D into “type none” began for the Schapler family.
Peggy will often tell people that T1D picked the wrong family because she has made it her mission to raise funds and increase awareness of T1D ever since that life changing day in 2009.
“T1D changed our lives forever. It is our new norm. Davis and our entire family have T1D,” Peggy said.
Peggy realized right away the lack of public awareness around the signs, symptoms and treatment of T1D.
Friends and family members thought it was a short-term illness, not a lifelong illness.
T1D typically shows up in children and young adults and it’s a disease they do not outgrow and will not go away. It accounts for 5-10 percent of all pe Continue reading

Smart diabetes management service Livongo Health raises $52.5M and looks to new markets

Smart diabetes management service Livongo Health raises $52.5M and looks to new markets


Glen Tullman doesnt like it whensomeone tells him hes sick when hes feeling fine.
Its something he thinks his customers probably dont want to hear, either. Tullman runs a startup called Livongo Health , which offers a blood glucose monitor accompanied with a service designed to intervene and help coach people through managing diabetes. Livongo Health helps with best practices, but is also designed to intervene before things start to get bad. And Tullman hopes that by collecting enough data and applying the right technology, they can create a tool that will be able to figure out the right touch for getting people to manage and care about their chronic conditions.
To do that, Livongo Health has raised an additional $52.5 million in a round led by General Catalyst and Kinnevik. The actual product is a cellular-connected blood sugar monitor, which takes your blood sugar readings and then sends that information to Livongo Healths monitoring services. If the reading falls outside of normal bounds, the company will flag that person and offer some kind of recommendation like drinking a glass of fruit juice, or going for a walk. If it strays too far out of the norm, theyll get a call from a specialist who will walk them through what to do next.
Person using it has to love it, Tullman said. They cant just like it, otherwise they wont use it. We can help them, but only in the moment. Context matters. If I called you up and said, I can be there in 15 minutes to fixa flat tire, youd say why are you bothering me. But if you had a flat youd be like, thats awesome, and you wouldnt Continue reading

Fighting diabetes with a vegan diet

Fighting diabetes with a vegan diet


Veronika Powell from VivaHealth! explains how type 2 diabetes can be completely managed with a vegan diet.
Diabetes is no fun; it can make you unwell, increase the risk of many other conditions and reduce your quality of life. The good news is, type 2 diabetes is preventable and, should you happen to have it already, potentially reversible.
Diet is the key. More and more health professionals now recommend a substantial diet change and many type 2 diabetic patients are successfully reversing their condition.
The big issue in diabetes is high blood sugar, a result of the bodys sugar metabolism governed by the hormone insulin working incorrectly. This has a knock-on effect on other systems in the body, increasing blood cholesterol and fat levels, damaging the eyes, kidneys and nerve endings and can lead to insensitivity in hands and feet.
Type 2 diabetes is usually (but not always) linked to increased body weight and especially to abdominal obesity. When the bodys metabolism cant keep up with the amount and type of food eaten, droplets of fat are stored under the skin, but also in muscle and liver cells. Where and how you store fat is largely genetic. When the amount of fat in the cells reaches a certain level, it reduces the cells ability to react to insulin correctly, leading to insulin resistance. Studies show the resistance in muscles and the liver is strongly linked to fat storage in these tissues.
With the right kind of diet, you can not only prevent this happening, but also treat the condition. Studies where type 2 diabetics were prescribed a combination of die Continue reading

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